Federal Grant Funds to Help Fund Water Line Replacement Project in City


Published on May 15 2018 7:39 pm
Last Updated on May 16 2018 11:02 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham City Engineer Jeremy Heuerman told City Council members Tuesday that the City has received a Community Development Block Grant totaling $500,000. Heuerman said the funds will help pay for a major water line replacement project in several residential areas in town.

Heuerman said the project will involve replacing water mains on Franklin Avenue, Linden Street, Clark Avenue, Mulberry Street and Lawrence Avenue. The City has to pay a local match to receive the funds, but Heuerman reminded that the match is already in the City budget.

Council members amended the City Code allowing special use permits for public or government buildings or privately owned emergency services. The amendment will allow development of a building in the 800 block of North Third Street by Doug Murrell to be used by Abbott EMS as their headquarters.

The Council also approved the special use permit for the project, and a separate rezoning to multi-family residential for a property owned by Murrell at 926 East Fayette.

The Council denied a rezoning requested by Chris Alan Koester for land off East Rickelman east of Dogs by Design that was to be sold by Koester to an individual wishing to build a body shop. Some neighbors objected to the project and Heuerman said the Comprehensive Plan calls for low-density residential development on the parcel. Also approved by the Council was a permanent easement agreement along South Raney for Wabash Communications to run fiber line; a vacation of an alley between 2nd and 1st Streets and Washington and Jefferson Avenues; the annexation of the Purcell property along Marguerite Lane into the city; and accepted a proposal from Civil Design to oversee the Vulcan Drive reconstruction project off South Banker for close to $11,000.

City Police Chief Jeff Fuesting introduced three new police officers to the Council. Jake Lustig is an Effingham native who has been working on the Carbondale police force, while Teutopolis native Matt Hoelscher and newcomer Brittany Webb both have been working for the Mt. Vernon police force.


Heuerman updated the Council on upcoming bid lettings on May 29 and a bid letting on May 22 on reconstruction of Henrietta Street from Temple Avenue north to Heritage Drive. It's a complete rebuild of the roadway; street, sewer, sidewalks, and a stub of Heritage to the east.

The Council accepted Vantage Outsourcing's offer to police North Raney Street from Avenue of Mid America to Rickelman Avenue for litter under the City's "Pick It Up, Effingham" program, and permission was granted to temporarily close some streets downtown for what is to be known as the Middle of America Craft Brew Fest. Projects were also approved for a concrete crushing program that will make used road materials available for use on future road work, and for this summer's sidewalk replacement program.

Another upcoming event discussed with a chuckle is the Mayoral Milking Contest, set for June 9 and hopefully involving all of the mayors in the county. City Administrator Jim Arndt encouraged Mayor Jeff Bloemker that he would do well, while the mayor wondered whether Arndt's confidence in his ability might be a little misplaced.

City EMA Director Kim Tegeler reported on the City and County's creation of "Effingham Alerts", provided by Hyper-Reach Notification. Tegeler said in two weeks, 393 City residents have registered. Tegeler said only 600 people registered in three years for the previous program.

The Council also heard from Effingham Public Library Director Amanda McKay Williamson, who updated the Council on this year's Summer Reading Program. Williamson is hopeful of 1,000 participants. Signup is currently at 380.

There was also a reminder that Cruise Night is set for this Friday night in downtown Effingham. Fuesting said police are ready for the event and that they will be cooking near the railroad tracks along Jefferson Avenue as a fundraiser. A mention that we will have music to cruise by on 979XFM Friday evening.